Tommy DarDar review…March 5, 2018….

TOMMY DARDAR

BIG DADDY GUMBO

IT’S GOOD TO BE KING–HEADED DOWN TO HOUMA–BABY I CAN TELL–C’MON SECOND LINE–LET’S BOTH GO BACK TO NEW ORLEANS–DANGEROUS WOMAN–IN MY MIND–SHAKE A LEG–BIG DADDY GUMBO

Down on the Gulf Coast, specifically in south Louisiana, many people of the Houma Tribe of Native Americans shared the name DarDar.  Tommy DarDar was a brilliant songwriter, powerful vocalist, purveyor of good times everywhere he went, and was one of the best harp players on that Gulf Coast scene.  His untimely passing left a void in that musical world, and also, an unfinished album.  Now, thanks to Tommy’s good friend, producer Tony Braunagel,  this album has now been completed, to serve as a fitting memorial for this larger-than-life musical figure.  As such, the nine cuts that comprise “Big Daddy Gumbo” show just how much he meant to the folks he touched.  Most of the cuts were written by Tommy, Johnny Lee Schell, and keyboard icon Jon Cleary.  Tony is on drums, Hutch Hutchinson is on bass, Johnny Lee Schell is on guitar, Mike Finnigan and Barry Seelen are on keys, and Joe Sublett is on sax.

It was a labor of love, fans, and it parlays onto the grooves.  The party starts just like a big ol’ Saturday night fish fry, as Johnny Lee kicks things off old-school, Elmore-style, on the roadhouse rock of “It’s Good To Be King.”  “Baby, I Can Tell, ” hits another swampy groove,  as Tommy extols the virtues of his woman, who’s “got me in your lovin’ spell.”  Tommy gets into a low-and-slow groove on a couple of very soulful cuts, too.  “In My Mind” finds Tommy doing some serious testifyin’ on the vocal, trying to cope with a lost love.  And, “Let’s Both Go Back To New Orleans” is reminiscent of the classic sound of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew.

Our favorite, tho, was just what Tommy DarDar was all about.  With piano from Jon Cleary, “C’mon Second Line”  is a sure way to lose your blues at Mardi Gras time!

In the lore of the Houma Tribe, a “treater” had the mystical powers to heal, and Tommy DarDar was a true healer, using the power of his music to heal those in need of spiritual uplifting.  He can cure what ails you, too, thru the grooves of “Big Daddy Gumbo.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, the Nashville Blues Society.

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